Battlestar Galactica-Season 3 (2005)

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Released 20-Nov-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Menu Animation & Audio
Trailer-UK Distributor
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 847:29
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (5)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Marita Grabiak
Rod Hardy
Allan Kroeker
Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Edward James Olmos
Mary McDonnell
Katee Sackhoff
Jamie Bamber
James Callis
Tricia Helfer
Grace Park
Paul Campbell
Kandyse McClure
Michael Hogan
Tahmoh Penikett
Aaron Douglas
Case ?
RPI $79.95 Music Richard Gibbs
Bear McCreary


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

'They Evolved. They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.'

    This new or 're-imagined' version of Battlestar Galactica certainly generated some debate on its release, originally as a mini-series. The reviews for the mini series and Series One can be found here. The new Battlestar Galactica is an excellent example of modern television science fiction, featuring believable and multi-dimensional characters, excellent acting, great action, interesting ethical and social dilemmas and very high production values. One extremely interesting (and surprising) point to note about this release is that we are getting it some five months before Region 1, where this season is not slated for DVD release until April 2008.

    This third series opens on the Cylon-occupied New Caprica about four months after the last episode of Season 2. The human settlers are living in a situation akin to a prison camp, with Gaius Baltar as their titular president, but in reality the place is run by the Cylons. The Galactica & Pegasus (two battlestars) have had to jump away because of the Cylon base ships which arrived, due to only having skeleton crews on board. A resistance has been formed by Colonel Tigh, Chief Tyrol and Sam Anders, who in the interim has married Starbuck, who is being held against her will by the Cylons. Other married couples include Cally & Tyrol (who have a child), Lee Adama (who now commands the Pegasus) & Deanna and also Helo and Sharon Valerii the Cylon (or at least one specific copy of Sharon). Ex-President Roslin is now running a school on New Caprica.

    This season sees some changes in direction for the show with more focus on interpersonal relationships both between the humans, the Cylons and between the two. Despite this there is also a lot of action and some very tense episodes involving unrest amongst the fleet. Overall, I would not consider this series to be as strong as the first two, however, it is still much better than most shows on TV currently. The final double episode certainly reveals some big developments and sets up nicely for an interesting Season 4. There is also a TV movie called Razor which has been released on DVD in the US. It follows the story of Pegasus and it seems should only be watched after viewing this season. I do not have any details of a local release at this point.

    Xena fans will be pleased to see that Lucy Lawless plays a much bigger part in this series, including part of a ménage a trois with Gaius Baltar! Generally speaking, the Cylons become a bit softer in this series (although still ruthless) and much more mystical and religious. Some of the inter-Cylon relationship subplot is a bit weird, frankly and is not the strongest part of this series.

    In each episode summary I won't discuss the ongoing story lines, just the specific basis for the episode to avoid spoilers. In total there are 20 episodes, each of approximately 42 minutes. The episodes are spread over five discs.

    In detail, the episodes are:

  1. Occupation - Focused on the situation on New Caprica and the resistance activities being organised by Saul Tigh and Chief Tyrol. Also shows what has been going on aboard Pegasus & Galactica including Jamie Bamber in a fat suit (much to my wife's annoyance). Not bad but these first three episodes feel a little slow moving.
  2. Precipice  - The Cylons crack down on New Caprica. Adama decides to stage a rescue attempt despite Lee's objections. Starbuck faces a tough choice.
  3. Exodus Pt 1  - Double episode covering the rescue attempt by Galactica.
  4. Exodus Pt 2  - Continuation of Episode 3 and the best of the season to date.
  5. Collaborators  - Probably the best episode of the entire season, this focuses on the aftermath of the rescue and people's responses to their time on New Caprica.
  6. Torn  - Everyone is getting used to being back at their old jobs and resuming the search for Earth. This is where the more mystical Cylon stuff kicks into a higher gear including the introduction of the hybrids, who seem to operate the Cylon ships.
  7. A Measure of Salvation  - Galactica captures five cylons who are infected with some sort of virus. Quality episode.
  8. Hero  - A cylon raider comes into the area where the fleet is being chased by two other raiders. Based on a garbled radio transmission they allow it to land on Galactica only to find the pilot is a human known to Adama.
  9. Unfinished Business  - This episode features flashbacks to New Caprica and a ship boxing tournament designed to release pent up frustrations. Not the best episode of the series although it does reveal some interesting back story.
  10. The Passage  - Food is running low due to contamination and the fleet must pass through a dangerous radiation field to get more.
  11. The Eye of Jupiter  - First of a double episode based on the planet where they are collecting and processing a new food supply. Chief Tyrol makes an important discovery which is of interest to the fleet but also to the cylons.
  12. Rapture  - Continuation of episode 11 which has some big developments included in it. One of the best episodes.
  13. Taking a Break From All Your Worries  - Another mystical, relationship based episode.
  14. The Woman King  - Civilians need to be moved to Galactica temporarily however some of them seem to be suffering from a strange disease. Helo is given the job of looking after them.
  15. A Day in the Life  - It is Admiral Adama's wedding anniversary and Chief & Cally get themselves into serious trouble.
  16. Dirty Hands  - A raptor has mechanical failure and crashes into Colonial One. The fuel refining ship seems to be at fault. The fleet is having internal issues regarding workers rights.
  17. Maelstrom  - Starbuck is thinking a lot about her previous life before the original cylon attacks and starts seeing things that others cannot.
  18. The Son also Rises  - The lead up to Baltar's trial.
  19. Crossroads Pt 1  - Baltar's trial but also some crew members start hearing snatches of All Along the Watchtower.
  20. Crossroads Pt 2  - Continuation of episode 19. Some big things are revealed in this episode which leaves cliff-hangers for Season 4

    One of the great strengths of this series besides what I have mentioned above is that it includes great roles for women as well as men, including the strong and skilled Starbuck, the resourceful and resilient President and the confused Boomer. This makes for a balanced series than many other action/adventure/Sci-fi television series which only seem to have women in less important roles.

    I would recommend this season to fans of the show but it is not the place to start for people new to the show.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is disappointing.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp although some scenes were affected by white bleeding which although probably intentional did effect the sharpness. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was average. MPEG grain was the biggest issue with this transfer. It is present throughout and varies from light to heavy. In some scenes, the grain solidified into mild macro-blocking. At times there seemed to be brief flashes of blocking such as at 32:52 in episode 5.

    The colour was very good despite being restricted by colour grading which tended to make many scenes more grey. I did notice some minor colour bleeding from time to time. Some scenes seemed a little overbright.

    Aliasing and jagged edges were also present and seemed to be more prevalent in later episodes.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read. Some lines were slightly summarised.

    I did not notice any layer changes.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s along with a English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo option encoded at 192 Kb/s. The 5.1 track is obviously superior.

    Dialogue was reasonably easy to understand, although the subtitles were useful and I kept them on most of the time while watching. There was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Bear McCreary is very good and features some new themes in this series.

    The surround speakers were used for a lot of atmosphere but did not evidence the level of surround effects which could have been employed in a show such as this.

    The subwoofer was well used for music, tensions sounds and explosions.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Nothing worth mentioning.

Menu

    The menu was better than previous seasons featuring action from the show.

Disc 1

Playback (UK) Trailer (1.00) 

    Utterly useless crap. I do not understand why this should even be included on the local release. It is a trailer for the UK distributor of this show and their other products which is boring and annoying.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This series is due for release in Region 1 in April 2008. No details are available of the release at this point. I would expect that as in previous seasons the Region 1 will have much better extras. This release seems to be the same as Region 2.

Summary

    A third season of this excellent sci-fi series featuring a great cast, excellent characters and some interesting plotlines and great action scenes.

    The video quality is disappointing.

    The audio quality is very good.

    No extras, an advertisement for the UK distributor does NOT count.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Disappointing third season. - REPLY POSTED
Not only, but also - REPLY POSTED
Battlestar Galactica Season 2 - REPLY POSTED
Re: Season 2 -
Season 2 special features - Graeme Edgeler REPLY POSTED
Razor Local Release - James O REPLY POSTED
US Extras - acassimaty REPLY POSTED